Initial experience with a continuous mechanical aspiration system for thrombus removal before percutaneous coronary intervention.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Catheterization and cardiovascular interventions : official journal of the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions


california; orange


Objectives: Here we investigate the safety and efficacy of a continuous mechanical aspiration system when used before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Background: Historically, trials of routine manual aspiration thrombectomy in ACS patients have reported mixed results. This may be due to the technical limitations of manual aspiration, which suffers from decreasing vacuum power as aspiration is performed.

Methods: This is a retrospective case series of all patients treated with continuous mechanical aspiration (Indigo CAT RX Aspiration System; Penumbra Inc.) before PCI between August 2017 and July 2020 at five centers in the United States. Data regarding angiographic assessments, procedure, and safety were examined.

Results: Seventy-two patients (mean age 60 ± 12.5 years, 34.7% female) with ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) (80.6%) or Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) (19.4%) were included. Target vessels were the right coronary (43.1%), left anterior descending (33.3%), and left circumflex (23.6%). Preprocedure, 94.4% had a high thrombus burden (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction [TIMI] thrombus grade ≥ 3). Median aspiration time was 35 s and median access-to-reperfusion time was 10 min. After CAT RX alone, 86.1% had complete perfusion (TIMI flow grade 3). After the procedure, 94.4% had TIMI thrombus grade <3% and 97.2% had TIMI flow grade 3. There were no cases of ischemic stroke. Cardiovascular mortality at 30 days was 1.4%.

Conclusions: In our initial experience, aspirating thrombus from ACS patients using the Indigo CAT RX Aspiration System before PCI was safe and effective for reducing thrombus burden and restoring flow.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)